When Honda confirmed the axing of the Insight hybrid in Europe, it wasn’t a good sign for the model’s future. Now Honda said it will end production of the Insight after demand plunged and sales lagged behind Toyota’s Prius.
Although the Insight was the first hybrid vehicle introduced in the U.S. in 1999 (seven months earlier than the Prius), it appears that wasn’t enough to gain enough consumers.
According to a Bloomberg report, Honda spokeswoman Yuka Abe said the carmaker informed dealers in November that the current generation of the Insight will be discontinued this month and asked them to stop taking orders. The representative declined to comment on whether Honda will produce a new generation of the model.
While the Prius saw cumulative sales of 3.19 million vehicles as of January, Honda only delivered 280,629 Insight hybrids globally as of the end of last year, of which 157,275 were sold in Japan. In the U.S., Insight sales dropped 18 percent to 4,802 in 2013, making it the second-worst selling car in Honda’s lineup, behind only the CR-Z hybrid. With that in mind, should we expect a similar announcement for the CR-Z, taking into account that Honda is pulling it out of the European market? We’ll just have to wait and see.
At the beginning of February 2014, Honda had a 237 days worth of supply of the Insight, almost four times the 60-day inventory that is considered ideal by automakers in the U.S. The second generation Honda Insight has been produced since 2009. Honda currently has five hybrids in its U.S. lineup, including the Insight, Accord, Fit, Civic and CR-Z.
By Dan Mihalascu